Music is all over the place, which means there are a lot of licensing deals out there to make sure royalties are paid.
Music Business Worldwide reports (via Engadget, PMR) that collection firm Pro Music Rights (PMR). which sued Spotify last year, is taking ten different services to court over allegations they are streaming unlicensed music. The firm has sued each of the ten biggest streamers, saying they are streaming music without providing the royalties demanded of them with the licensing deals.
The defendants are Apple, Amazon, Google, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, 7digital, Pandora, SoundCloud, and YouTube. Which definitely marks just about every single big name in this particular market. PMR says that it has tried to avoid this conclusion by reaching out to each of the streaming services, offering licensing deals and trying to inform them of the obligations associated with licensing and copyright laws.
PMR calls their actions a “blatant disregard of the Copyright Act.” The company is seeking “the maximum $150,000 for each act of willful infringement with respect to the copyrights involved in the action.” It’s unclear whether the company is seeking $150,000 per unlicensed track available on a given service or for every time one of those tracks has been streamed. PMR represents both emerging and chart-topping artists, including Wiz Khalifa, Gucci Mane and Fall Out Boy, so the company could be suing the defendants for huge sums of money, either way.
It will be interesting to see where this goes. This is a huge battle, especially with the evolution of music availability these days. It’s not a guarantee that PMR has a chance at winning, nor any of the defendants. But PMR certainly has its work cut out for it, even if these lawsuits go their way.